The runway-worthy looks will be unveiled on Virgin America flights and at airports nationwide on August 8, 2012 – the day the airline marks its fifth anniversary of operations. Virgin America also will offer Banana Republic travel essentials inspired by the new uniforms, available to Virgin America flyers for a limited time via the airline's Red in-flight entertainment system Shop platform and in select Banana Republic stores beginning August 7, 2012.
"In creating the uniform designs for Virgin America, we wanted to respect the heritage of in-flight uniform design while injecting a modern twist that's both functional and fashionable," remarked Banana Republic Creative Director and Executive Vice President, Simon Kneen. "We referenced the time when onboard style and sophistication was of utmost importance and designed a modern interpretation that incorporates aviation details and celebrates Virgin America's signature style."
The uniform project was an 18-month process, involving ongoing design brainstorms among Kneen and Banana Republic designers, as well as informative focus groups and fit sessions with the airline's creative and brand teams, airport teammates, crew, and in-flight leadership. The partnership also consisted of a unique internal "Design Challenge," in which Banana Republic designers competed for the coveted opportunity to create the uniform design.
"The new uniforms were designed to be modern and sleek in keeping with the Virgin America brand and cabin design, but also needed to accommodate the unique work needs of teammates – such as the use of performance fabric for long travel days, stretch and extra room factored in to meet the demands of the airport and aircraft environment, and the creation of a variety of pieces for weather conditions all over the country," said Frances Fiorillo, senior vice president for People and In-Flight Services at Virgin America. "Banana Republic worked directly with our teammates to rise to this challenge and create uniforms that are ultra chic, durable and comfortable. It was a very tall order, and if the reaction of our teammates is any measure: they more than over-delivered."
The uniforms feature an array of styles for Virgin America's pilots, in-flight and guest service teammates. For men, the nine styles include leather jackets, lined mac coats, striped sleeve sweaters, woven shirts and pants. For women, thirteen styles include a classic pencil skirt, slim dress, trousers, leather jacket and trench to start, paired with luxe silk print scarves, slim plaque belts and Virgin America-branded serving aprons for in-flight meal service. All looks include classic aviation touches, such as shoulder tabs and button chest pockets.
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